All of DeKalb County remains under a boil water advisory today, March 7, after a major water main break occurred early this morning near 5718 Buford Highway in Doraville. DeKalb officials say it could take 24 hours to repair the water line.

Water should be boiled for at least one minute after reaching a rolling boil. Customers should continue to boil their water until they are notified that the water system has been restored to full operation, and that the microbiological quality of the water in the distribution system is safe for human consumption.

DeKalb County Schools are shutting down early due to water loss and low water pressure. All DeKalb County offices are closing at 11 a.m.

Brookhaven City Hall closed at 10 a.m. due to water loss. The Brookhaven Police department and recreation centers at Lynwood Park and Briarwood Park remain open. Dunwoody City Hall also closed early but the police department is open.

Many businesses are also closed due to the water main break, including Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody.

At a press conference this morning, DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said he hopes Buford Highway near the water main break will be open by rush hour this afternoon.

DeKalb County is also reporting:

  • Senior centers will close at noon.
  • DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs recreation centers will be closed for after school programs today. Exchange Recreation Center will be closing at noon.
  • The Board of Commissioners has cancelled the following meetings scheduled for today:
    • Committee of the Whole
    • Finance, Audit and Budget Committee
    • Public Works and Infrastructure Committee
  • DeKalb WorkSource’s Returning Citizens Expo has been cancelled for today and will be rescheduled.

Currently, commercial and residential collections are on schedule.

Brookhaven and Dunwoody are included in the water boil advisories. DeKalb officials say the water plant is pumping at capacity, but the plant is experiencing low pressure, according to a press release. DeKalb is advising residents boil water before use for drinking, cooking or preparing baby food.

“In an abundance of caution for our citizens and to protect the public from any potential health hazards, residents in the affected area are being asked to boil water for at least one minute after water comes to a rolling boil prior to drinking, cooking or preparing baby food,” according to a press release. “Residents are advised to conserve water.”

DeKalb County is reporting there is no water at the DeKalb County Police Department Headquarters in Tucker.

State resources are also being deployed to ensure public safety, according to DeKalb officials. Eight tankers are being brought into the county to supply water for fire protection and to fill chillers at hospitals. The state is on standby to assist as needed.

The county’s fire department is working with other agencies to address low water pressure along Buford Highway.

The DeKalb Animal Shelter is asking for water donations for hundreds of animals.

At 1 p.m.: DeKalb Watershed reported water pressure is slowly being restored throughout the county but a boil water advisory remains in effect.

At 2:20 p.m.: DeKalb officials reported water pressure has returned to all DeKalb County fire stations after a 48-inch main broke Wednesday morning near Buford Highway. Eight water tankers are still stationed throughout the county to assist with fire protection and to fill chillers at hospitals. The DeKalb County Emergency Operations Center remains open. The boil water advisory remains in effect.

At 4:55 p.m.: DeKalb County Watershed Management has mobilized a contractor and delivered equipment to the site of the 48-inch water main that broke earlier Wednesday morning near Buford Highway. County crews are assessing the damage and removing debris so repair work can begin. The cleanup of Buford Highway is 85 percent complete and portions of the road are estimated to reopen shortly. Georgia Department of Transportation crews are onsite evaluating the roadway.

At 6 p.m.: DeKalb Schools announced it would open on Thursday, March 8. “We have been in constant dialogue with our partners at DeKalb County and the DeKalb County Board of Health. Following that consultation, we will reopen our campuses while taking great care to ensure we have a healthy learning environment,” said Superintendent/CEO Stephen Green in a press release. “We have a good plan that covers sanitation, food service and other aspects of our operations impacted by the water event today. We’ll be ready for our students.”

“As importantly, we ask each of our partners and patrons to contribute or donate water, and perhaps hand sanitizers, directly to our campuses,” Green added. “For many reasons, having an abundant supply of drinking water throughout the day is important.“

DCSD will take the following steps as students return to class:

•    Flushing the water sources at campuses and offices. Custodians and maintenance staff will begin to flush all toilets and sinks to release water impacted by the boil order. This process will continue throughout the day.

•    Covering sinks and water fountains. This will prevent use by building occupants as the water system is flushed.

•    Importing fresh drinking water. The district will bring in water for food preparation, consumption and handwashing. DCSD is also seeking assistance from business, churches and community partners in providing bottled water for students. Parents are also encouraged to send their child to school with bottled water, if able.

•    Using hand sanitizer to keep avoid contamination. The district will provide additional sanitizer to each campus. Parents are also encouraged to send their child to school with sanitizer.

•    Providing nutritious lunches per Georgia food service regulations. The district will avoid providing meals that require the use of water in preparation. Student will receive a modified prepackaged breakfast/snack. The district will also provide a lunch consisting of water-free preparation such as a sandwich, tossed salad and other similar foods.

•    Working with the Board of Health. DCSD is committed to following regulations governing loss of water service in its schools. The partnership between the Health Board and DCSD will provide the safest, healthiest environment for students.
The watershed customer service line is busy. Customers should check with for updates.

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Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.

One reply on “Updates: DeKalb under boil water advisory after major water main break on Buford Highway”

  1. But what we reallly need is more government development and density along Buford Highway.

    It’s bad enough raw sewage regularly overflows, now we can’t even drink tap water.

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